(WGGB/WSHM/AP) -- A U.S. Capitol police officer is dead and another injured after a man rammed a car into them at a barricade outside the Capitol.
The officer killed in the line of duty has been identified as William Evans, originally from North Adams.
Jason LaForest was a childhood friend of Evans, whom he knew as "Billy.” He said his longtime friend wore his badge with pride.
A Capitol Police officer was killed Friday after a man rammed a car into two officers at a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol and then emerged wielding a knife. It was the second line-of-duty death this year for a department still struggling to heal from the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Evans joined the U.S. Capitol Police in 2003 and was a member of its first responders unit. He grew up in western Massachusetts, in North Adams, and graduated from Western New England University in 2002 with a degree in criminal justice.
LaForest told Western Mass News that his childhood friend was off on the day of the riots at the U.S. Capitol, but the 18-year Capitol Police veteran was on-duty today when he made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting and serving the country he loved.
“We all continue to worry that he would be harmed. He’s clearly in the epicenter of violence and sadly, that fear was realized today in a tragic way,” LaForest explained.
Congressman Richard Neal said in a statement:
“He is indeed a hometown hero and a patriot who risked and sadly lost his life to protect our country. We are a grateful nation in mourning. This evening, my thoughts are with his family and friends who are grieving his untimely passing.”
Officer “Billy” Evans is being remembered tonight as a kind man who always had something nice to say to everyone he met.
Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more as it becomes available.